Kyabram Free Press

Unlucky end to Tongala’s season

- By Gus Underwood

You have to feel for Tongala Football Club coach Jordan Souter.souter had the side primed to win its first flag for 37 years until the COVID-19 pandemic intervened and wrote an unwanted chapter in the club’s history books of “Coulda-beens” and “Missedchan­ces”.you are never over the line in pursuit of premiershi­p glory, no matter how flattering your home-and-away record may be, but Souter wouldn’t be human if he didn’t allow himself to dare to dream at times in a season that promised so much but ended in a cruel and massive anti-climax.souter not only had a talented and eager group of footballer­s to nurture and develop during the year but a sea change in his working life provided an added challenge.

With long-time partner Paige Wade they purchased the long-serving Tongala business of GTS Farm Supplies and Home Hardware mid-year, which also demanded a lot of their time while they settled in.

Souter said he was pleased with how everything was working out in this venture and admitted it had been a little easier to handle after the football and netball seasons were finally abandoned.

Paige just happens to coach the club’s A-grade netball side, which is also a time-consuming task along with raising their two young children, Barney, 3, and Zoe, 10 months.

Souter had every reason to be optimistic he had the side at his disposal to take Tongala to its first flag in the Murray League and its first since legendary coach Des Campbell’s champion sides went back-to-back in the club’s Goulburn Valley League days in 1983-84.

Unbeaten in the 13 games they played, the Blues were warm favourites to take this season’s flag and were certainly good enough.

But Souter is not one to dwell on things and rather than peep in the rear-vision mirror he has his binoculars now firmly fixed on next year.

He wanted and got the coaching gig again and his mission now is to try to retain most of the side that proved unbeatable this season.

He already has this year’s assistant coaches, Anthony Dennis and Tristan Kreymborg, on board again and he is confident most of this year’s playing list will be retained, including fly-in Darwin-based match-winners Cam Ilett, Darren Ewing and Jack Monigatti.

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